Summary: Jesus feeds the crowd of 5000+ (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: John chapter 6 verses 1-13.
• Bread Test
• Bread (in some form or other) is the basic diet of people all over the world;
• Two reasons: first it is cheap & therefore accessible for the poor.
• Second it satisfies it fills you up.
Psychologist, Charles Allen tells this story in one of his books:
• As World War II was drawing to a close,
• The Allied armies gathered up many hungry orphans.
• They placed them in camps where they were safe and well-fed.
• Yet despite the excellent care they received, the orphans slept badly.
• They seemed nervous and afraid.
• Finally, a psychologist came up with the solution.
• Each child was given a piece of bread to hold after he or she was put to bed.
• This particular piece of bread was just to be held—not eaten.
• This extra piece of bread produced wonderful results.
• And the children started to sleep undisturbed through out the night.
• The extra piece of bread had a wonderful effect on the children because;
• As they went to bed they instinctively knew they would have food to eat the next day.
In the same way that each of us has PHYSICAL appetites that need satisfying.
• We also have spiritual appetites that need satisfying;
• And Jesus demonstrates in this passage that he alone can meet those appetites.
(1). The PURSUIT of the crowd (vs 1-2).
“Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick.”
• Have you ever been so tired that you are just not sure you can go on?
• If the answer is yes, you might appreciate this story.
• A woman who had recently moved into a small village in Wiltshire,
• Was in the backyard hanging out the washing on the line.
• When an old, tired-looking dog wandered into the yard.
• She could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home.
• As she walked into the house, the dog followed her in,
• Sat down under the kitchen table and fell sound asleep.
• An hour later, he woke up;
• Went over to the door and she let him out.
• The next day he was back.
• He took up the same position under the kitchen table and slept for an hour.
• This continued for several weeks. Curious, she pinned a note to his collar:
• "Every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap."
• The next day the dog arrived with a different note pinned to his collar:
• "He lives in a home with 6 children - he’s trying to catch up on his sleep."
We know from the other gospels that record this story:
• That Jesus was looking for a break,
• He wanted to go somewhere quiet to get some rest, to recharge his physical batteries.
• People had been following Jesus and the disciples incessantly;
• And constantly making demands (wanted healings etc time consuming & very draining).
• And although Jesus was tried and looking for a break,
• The people kept coming and he was unable to get one.
• It is here that the remarkable difference of Jesus shows up.
• If it had been you or me, we would have sent the people away - but not Jesus.
In Mark’s version of the event (chapter 6 verse 34), we find this…
“When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.”
• To most of us the constant hassle of the crowd would have been an irritation;
• A pain in the neck.
• But Jesus had compassion on the people;
• Because he saw their deeper needs, lacked direction and purpose, like a lost sheep.
• In verse 1:
• John reveals the crowds motivation for following Jesus.
(Paraphrase verse 2):
“Jesus had been doing such great miracles, they kept following because they did not want to miss the tremendous excitement of the signs.”
• Arlo – yesterday about to go up to bed and the doorbell goes;
• Instant refusal until he saw who it was, scared he was missing out!
• Well you can understand the crowd not wanting to miss out on a miracle;
• Question: How many of you have seen a miracle?
• Miracles obviously don’t happen everyday;
• Otherwise they would be called ‘regulars’ or some similar word,
But Jesus sees their real need: